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Released Februrary 9, 2004


LONG BEACH -- More than 50 literary scholars and aficionados from the United States and abroad are set to gather at The University of Southern Mississippi's Gulf Park campus in Long Beach, Feb. 12-14, for the John Donne Society's 19th annual international conference.

Scholars from across the United States and Canada and other countries including Mexico and Donne's homeland of England are slated to present, hear, and discuss papers exploring the work, life, and times of the 17th-century British divine and poet John Donne (1573-1631). Considered the greatest of the metaphysical poets, Donne penned such well-known phrases as "Death, be not proud," "for whom the bell tolls," and "no man is an island."

Some 17 presentations - all open to the public - are slated from 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12, through 5:00 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 14. Principal speakers and their topics include Dr. Margaret Maurer, who is William Henry Crawshaw Professor of Literature at Colgate University in Hamilton, N.Y., presenting "Donne's Readers Whom He Could Teach"; Dr. Tom Cain, professor of early modern literature at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in northern England, presenting "The Lost Chain: Elegy and Autobiography"; and Dr. Graham Roebuck, professor emeritus at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario (Canada), presenting "What Donne Knew."

The John Donne Society was founded at Southern Miss' Gulf Park Conference Center in 1986 and has returned there for annual conferences ever since. The Society, which now counts members from a half-dozen countries, was in part an outgrowth of the yet ongoing project to produce The Variorum Edition of the Poetry of John Donne, initiated in 1981 by Southern Miss English professor Dr. Gary A. Stringer, who serves as the general editor of the eight-volume edition. Three of the volumes - totaling about 2,500 pages - have been published and are available from Indiana University Press. A fourth, on Donne's widely read and admired Holy Sonnets, is to be released this year. The Variorum project involves about 30 additional editors and consultants worldwide.

Conference presentations are open to the public. For more information, contact Dr. Stringer at the Southern Miss campus in Hattiesburg at (601) 266-5619 or by e-mail at>; or call the USM Gulf Park Conference Center in Long Beach at (228) 865-4508.


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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM